Humble Garden

ReSkilling for future food independence

Avian Abode

Posted by Nika On September - 10 - 2007

chicken house construction

(3/4 view of in-progress chicken house. Front door is rough cut, will be full height)

Tomatoes are coming at us fast and furious, watermelons and squash have met fates which I will write about after this post, sometime soon.

Our attention is turning to the chickens today as I have some photos of the house in progress to share.

What you see above is the house in most of its glory :-/. The front door will be full height and not all topsy turvey like that. Notice the roof, its made of clear plastic roofing material. I didn’t want to build a cave like house so I requested that.

Here is what the ceiling looks like from inside.

The join between the roof and the walls looks like this.

And this.

Let me just say this – do not ask me WHY things were constructed as they were, its just the way my husband felt they needed to be.

This is a shot of the roof from the outside.

All those openings you saw at the top will be sealed with wire mesh. They will be open in the summer to allow cross breezes and then stopped up with insulation in the winter, as needed.

I requested a little manure sweep-out door at the base of one of the walls so that all we need to do to get rid of manure is to open the flap and push the manure and litter out into a waiting wheelbarrow.

Seen here from the inside.

Seen here from the outside.

Wire mesh lies beneath the flooring to inhibit rodents and also the ferocious Fischer cat weasels that we have indigenous to the surrounding forest.

Here you can see some of the foundation to the chicken house.

There is a huge amount of stones in the foundation into which radiant flooring tubing has been buried. It will serve as a heat sink for the radiant heating system, allowing for very low energy input but good returns on temperature control. Those orange tubes are the radiant floor tubing.

We will be painting the interior to waterproof it (and keep chickens away from the pressure treated wood). We will be building a deck in front of it which will also be covered. We will sit on this deck to enjoy the garden and also, around the side, watch the chickens in their back enclosure, if we feel the need.

I will be building roll-away nest boxes that will feed to a central collection point where I will then have a hole made through the wall so that all I have to do is walk up, open a little door in the wall, and pick out the eggs for the day.

I will shoot that when its done.

All gaps and such will be sealed with the wire mesh. We are determined to not lose our chickens to the fox and weasel which have been so awful in previous years.

We are thinking about setting up a motion detector system inside for nighttime to scare away any predators that may have gotten too close to or into the house. I am thinking of rigging up a speaker system that will emit a lion’s roar should we have a break in.


It will be tempting to also put up some sort of cam to be able to watch the girls during the day and capture predators in the act of breaking in and then losing their minds when the roar lets loose. (These are all fun ideas which come WAY after getting the darn thing done in the first place!)

Yeah, we are scarred from predator attacks, can you tell?

5 Responses to “Avian Abode”

  1. […] more details in the post “Avian Abode” over at our Humble Garden […]

  2. tjl says:

    A web cam would be great – I would def watch!

  3. Nika says:

    tjl: Awesome! It sounds like my husband wants to do that project so it likely will happen.

    I will make sure to give out links when the cam goes live.

  4. Ingrid says:

    Hi Nika,

    Just wondering how you made out with the powdery mildew and the milk treatment?

    I envy you your chickens, can’t wait to see the cam! And the manure for your garden will be wonderful. (LOL – I wonder how many people get excited about chicken manure?) I hope perhaps in a year or two to have my own chickens. Still have to check the codes here in the city, but I know folks who have had them nearby, so it must be ok. My husband has progressed from laughing hysterically at me over the suggestion, to raising his eyebrows and telling me he will not be mucking out the chicken house that he will inevitably end up building for me! He is headed in the right direction. ūüėČ

    I’m putting in a cover crop in my garden area for the fall and winter – and my hubby will put in a drip system for the spring – he already has most of the materials he will need. Still keeping a couple raised beds for fall and winter crops.

    I’m looking forward to your next post, you always inspire me – your research is so thorough – I just read about you on your Culinaria site – I figured you had to be a scientist!


  5. Nika says:

    Ingrid: I have been so darn busy with off-blog stuff, esp garden blog stuff, sorry I have been out of touch! To prempt my upcoming post, the drought made it impossible for my vine plants to bounce back fully so I pulled them out and have planted a batch of spinach in their place. I will be sure to post a shot of those guys soon.

    One of my scallopini squash did respond to the treatment and yielded a few more squash but it just wasnt back to 100%.

    I will be rooting for your chicken house! Since we live in the middle of no where we are not zoned city so I have not had to deal with anti-chicken laws, hope you do not either!

    You probably know this but chicken manure is “hot” so it should mellow out in compost longer than other types of manures. I look at chicken manure with a cautious eye (and a stopped up nose!)

    I am so glad you like the posts here, it keeps me coming back to write!

    There is a lot to write about, just such full days, yikes! (full for me at least).

Leave a Reply

About Me

We are a family of 5, including Nika, Ed, Q (14), KD (7), and Baby Oh (4). We garden 1024 square feet of raised beds plus assorted permacultural plantings. We also have 13 LaMancha dairy goats, 40 chickens, and one guard llama.



    SEVILLA II Besamanos a María Santísima de la Purísima ConcepciónKristen StewartUntitled Flickr photoHaus-Feldwespe (Polistes dominula)